Polystyrene Ordinance and "Bring Your Own!" Campaign

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On September 10, 2013 the Manhattan Beach City Council adopted Ordinance 13-0009 (PDF) prohibiting the use of polystyrene food service ware. This ordinance became effective on October 10, 2013.The city implemented a grace period after the ordinance was announced to allow businesses to use all polystyrene materials that were already purchased. On April 1, 2014, City Council removed the exemption for MBUSD and approved the additional items to be included in the existing polystyrene ordinance, including a prohibition on ice coolers, straws, cup lids and utensils made from polystyrene materials, and a prohibition on the sale of polystyrene food service materials in local retail stores.

The ordinance, as of April 10, 2014 and the amendments on October 1, 2014, are now enforceable for all businesses in Manhattan Beach. All businesses should be aware of this enforcement since all businesses must indicate their compliance with this ordinance on the annual business license renewal application. Please see the Letter to Manhattan Beach Businesses (PDF) for more details.

A new 2018 amendment removes the previous exemptions for raw food, including polystyrene produce trays and polystyrene egg cartons. It also prohibits packing materials made from polystyrene such as packing peanuts and noodles. In March 2019, Ordinance 19-0009 adopted to include a prohibition on the use and distribution of Polystyrene meat trays.

This ordinance was adopted to reduce litter and to ensure that all food service containers and materials are recyclable or compostable. If you own a local business that currently does not have recycling collection services, we encourage you to contact Waste Management at (310) 830-7100. Waste Management will complete a waste audit of your business at no charge to setup your recycling and solid waste management needs. Recycling can reduce your disposal costs as well as ensure that your customers can properly recycle at your establishment.

For residents and members of the public, we encourage you to "Bring Your Own!" containers, reusable cups and mugs, straws, and utensils whenever you can. Several local businesses in Manhattan Beach already offer incentives for patrons that bring their own reusable mugs, and many more will begin to offer incentives to encourage customers to take their leftovers home in their own reusable containers.

What products are added in 2018 & 2019?


- Paper/cardboard egg cartons

- Biodegradable packing materials

- Biodegradable produce and meat trays

- Recyclable produce and meat trays

Not allowed:

- Polystyrene or Styrofoam®️ egg cartons

- Polystyrene or Styrofoam®️  packing materials

- Polystyrene or Styrofoam®️  meat and produce (fruit/vegetable) trays

Polystyrene Ban compliance dates:

October 10, 2013 - Ordinance 13-0009 became effective

April 10, 2014 - Enforcement of ordinance began and all businesses must indicate their compliance with this ordinance on the annual business license renewal application

May 2, 2014 - Amendments to the polystyrene ordinance came into effect

October 1, 2014 - Amendments to the polystyrene ordinance became enforceable

June 5, 2018 - New Amendments to Municipal code Chapter 5.80 (Ordinance 18-0016) adopted 

January 1, 2019 - The 2018 amendments become enforceable

March 19, 2019 - Polystyrene meat trays amendment adopted to municipal code

January 1, 2020 - Polystyrene meat trays amendment takes effect


Please direct questions to the City's Environmental Sustainability Division at (310) 802-5508

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